Tegal Sari Bali Coffee & Spices came highly recommended and I had the opportunity to visit the place in one of my travels to Bali. It is a coffee, cocoa and tea plantation not very far from Ubud town in Bali. The island is apparently famous for its excellent coffee especially kopi luwak which is mainly produced in the Indonesian Archipelago.
The plantation attracts many tourists from all over the world, especially coffee lovers who are interested to see and taste the world's most expensive coffee called Kopi Luwak. Kopi is literally translated as coffee while Luwak means civet or more precisely the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) native to Southeast Asia.
Then in their digestive tracts, fermentation occurs. The coffee beans finish the journey by passing through civets' intestines and defecate. After that, farmers will collect the still-intact beans from the forest floor followed by cleaning, roasting and grounding process just like any other coffee.
An old and experienced lady roasting and drying the coffee beans
The plantation guide told me that some civets eat coffee cherries which contain better beans and the digestion process may improve the flavour of the coffee beans that have been eaten. Though the process seems to be interesting, it wasn't pleasant to look at the fecal matter and the coffee beans let alone imagining myself sipping the coffee. Nonetheless I was eager to try out kopi luwak at least once in my lifetime.
Visitors get a chance to savor different types of coffee, cocoa and tea at the tasting hut. The experts from the plantation are there to answer questions from curious visitors. They also make small batches of different drinks on the spot.
Tasting for all coffee, tea and cocoa drinks are free except for kopi luwak which costs Rp 40,000, equivalent to AUD3.95 for a small little cup. The taste of kopi luwak was described to have rich, heavy flavor with hints of caramel or chocolate while others described it to be earthy, musty and very smooth. As for me, long story short, I still prefer my usual Arabica coffee.
Pauline, I'm sure you mean well, but did you consider the civets that are used in this vile manner to produce this coffee? According to PETA Australia (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) it is one of the cruelest practices on earth and they have a program to try to get it stopped. Please do not encourage people to support this awful practice. Check out PETA Autsrlia's websitehttp://www.peta.org.au/ to see evidence of this and I'm sure you will change your mind.